Nurses make the world a better place as they lend a helping hand to those who need their timely intervention. Thus for those who wish to pursue a career in this noble profession here’s information on how to get a job as a nurse, nursing education and experience requirements, where you can find job listings, as well as tips for scaling through an interview.
Types of Nurses
Nurses are of different types, but most of them fall into the categories of LPN, RN, or NP.
(RNs), registered nurses have more responsibility and make more money than the LPNs. To become an RN, you have to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree program, then complete a national test. Some states may need additional steps for state licensure and a periodic re-testing is also needed. A master’s degree opens up further career options.
Licensed Practitioner Nurses (LPNs) are called in some states as Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs). Licensed practitioner nurses do basic patient care under the supervision of doctors or more highly trained nurses.
They can get qualified just by taking a short training program and passing a test. Although some find that an associate degree offers more career flexibility for the same certification, while the certification itself is national, state requirements for practice differs. Thus you are to ensure that your training program is approved by the state where you wish to work.
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Despite the nursing shortage, the RN job market for new-grads is quite competitive. Here are some tips for nursing to get a head start.
Nurse Practitioners (NPs)
This set tends to do much of the work doctors normally do, even though the state law differs. Becoming an NP means you must first become an RN, thereafter complete a graduate program, a required number of clinical hours, as well as an additional test. You may also need to do additional specialized training. Some NPs earn doctorates especially if they want to be involved in administrative work.
Requirements for Registered Nurses
The following, are the requirements a registered nurse must posses;
Registered nurses are required to complete coursework in nursing, anatomy, physiology, psychology, biology, microbiology, and chemistry as part of a bachelor’s degree associate’s degree, or hospital-based diploma program. A registered nurse must pass the National Council Licensure Examination after completing a state-approved academic program to get licensed.
Sufficient scientific aptitude to master the needed science coursework as well as learn the medical concepts which form the foundation of nursing is required from registered nurses. They are to possess the capacity to recall scientific, pharmaceutical, and medical terminology.
A registered nurse should be caring and empathic in nature to connect with patients and offer the support necessary to their recovery. They must be able to do so while maintaining adequate emotional distance to guard against internalizing patient problems. Patience is needed to deal with patients who react to their illness with strong emotions or need to have details repeated over and again.
Strong communication skills are required of registered nurses so as to convey complex information in simple terms to patients as well as interact effectively with other hospital staff. Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are required to interpret emerging information about the health status of patients. Registered nurses must be well organized and must be detail-oriented to keep tabs of multiple patients.
In other to gain admission to nursing programs, you’ll be required to demonstrate that you are comfortable interacting with sick or injured people. If possible, volunteer at a local hospital or nursing home while in high school. Other ways of gaining clinical experience, can also be working as a paramedic or getting certified as a nurse’s aide.
How to Get a Job as a Nurse
Search specialized nursing job sites: The simplest way to finding sites with job listings for nurses is to search through Google for “nurse job sites”. You can also search job sites with listings from many different online sources by using keywords like “nurse”, “RN”, and “Registered Nurse”, as well as the location where you would like to work to generate more job leads.
Inquire from your college career office about Nursing Career Days at your school or in the neighboring area and plan to attend if possible. You can also ask about alumni contacts in nursing and healthcare. Ask these individuals for advice and perspective on your job search and career.
These informational interviews can lead to referrals for jobs. Also, you can contact former employers, clinical supervisors, faculty, family, and friends to get referrals for informal consultations.
Joining nursing associations, and attending conferences and workshops to meet with other nursing professionals can also help. Volunteer to help in organizing meetings to gain even greater exposure to fellow members. Inquire from the faculty for recommendations about the best organizations.
In case you are looking for temporary or per diem positions, you can consider using a staffing agency like nursefinders.com.
Nursing Job Interview
Getting a nursing job means you’d be interviewed, thus you have to bring out you’re A-Game. You’ll have to show the interviewers that you have the right set of clinical skills and personal qualities to handle demanding nursing positions. Get prepared to reference a list of your clinical skills and offer examples of situations in which you applied those skills.
You’ll be quizzed about patient care challenges you faced, and how you well ultimately overcame these challenges.
Get ready to share examples of how well you’ve dealt with difficult colleagues.
Get ready also, to convince employers that you are aware of your weaknesses and the steps you are prepared to take to improve your performance.
Nurse Interview Follow Up
After an interview, send a thank you letter as soon as possible to convey your high level of interest in the job, why that position and healthcare organization are an excellent fit, and your gratitude for the opportunity.